A Kentucky university has agreed to pay over $14 million in settlements following the death of a student wrestler during practice in August 2020. The lawsuit claimed that his death from heat stroke was tragic and entirely avoidable. The student, who was diagnosed with narcolepsy and ADHD, was prescribed Adderall, which requires maintaining hydration, according to the lawsuit.
The wrestler died during the team’s first training day of the season. After practice, the team was required to sprint multiple times up and down a steep hill. The student completed several circuits before sitting down from exhaustion. His coach threatened to kick him off the team, so he ran up the hill again. According to the lawsuit, he was later heard saying, “I’m done, I can’t do this anymore.” He begged for water, but the coaches didn’t provide it or contact the trainer or emergency medical personnel.
The lawsuit further claimed that the student left and tried to drink from an outdoor water fountain that was not working. He also tried to enter a building but was unable to do so. He collapsed about 45 minutes later, with his hands clenched in the grass and dirt. The coaches found him dead, according to the lawsuit.
The settlement was agreed upon after the lawsuit claimed that the student’s death was entirely avoidable. The university did not provide water, nor did they contact the trainer or emergency medical personnel. The university stated that they would be implementing changes to their athletic program in response to the tragedy.
The student’s death is a tragic reminder of the importance of proper hydration, particularly during intense physical activity. The lawsuit highlights the need for universities to take the safety of their student-athletes seriously and ensure that they have adequate access to water and medical attention during practice.
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